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Richard III

March 6, 2013

I was at the last performance yesterday at the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue of Mark Rylance’s Richard III. The fourth wall is broken from the beginning as the actors are on stage getting dressed and being made up as we enter the auditorium. Once in costume Mark Rylance walks across the stage holding a parking sign to huge applause. (Reference to those who don’t know to the confirmation this week of Richard III’s lost remains being found in a church discovered in a dig in a council car park in Leicester)

Mark Rylance’s Richard is believable as he plays the foolish and misfortunate naughty boy forced into his role by circumstance. The production of course has the “Globe stamp of authenticity” of Elizabethen England ala Rylance. More of a romp than anything else full of tomfoolery. Mostly fun and very bright with the auditorium lights left for more “Globe” authenticity. I was not engaged in the same way I was with the dark, clever malevolence of Kevin Spacey’s Richard at the Old Vic or the forceful evil bullying of Richard Clothier’s Richard for Propellor.

The “love” within the all male company was very apparent and there were some excellent performances particularly Samuel Barnett, Johnny Flynn and James Garnon as the ladies. This company’s production in reportory of “Twelth Night” was much more suitable to this style IMHO. Too much “love” not enough Edge.



From → Theatre

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